Attorney Michael Avenatti wasn’t supposed to be porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer.
In her upcoming book, “Full Disclosure,” which is set to be released Tuesday and was obtained by Business Insider, Daniels wrote about how she came to be represented by Avenatti in her battle against President Donald Trump and his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen. She had signed a $130,000 non-disclosure agreement with Cohen just prior to the 2016 presidential election to stay silent about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump — an agreement that eventually led to Cohen’s conviction on federal charges in August.
After the existence of the agreement was revealed earlier this year, Cohen and her existing attorney, Keith Davidson, were still working to ensure her silence, she wrote. After she believed Cohen breached the agreement, she went to Davidson with her view that the contract was void. He didn’t do anything, she wrote.
At this point, she wrote that she “needed a decent lawyer to help me tell my story and really advocate for me.”
She said she first spoke with a potential attorney, one she described as “high-powered,” who “dragged” their feet on representing her and didn’t share her passion for the issue. She then was in contact with a second attorney who believed that she had a good case to make and scheduled a meeting with her.
But just hours before the two were set to meet, he canceled the meeting and instead put her in contact with an associate who the attorney said “would be a better fit” for her case.
Daniels and the attorney, who she did not name, arranged for her to meet his associate at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. Daniels wrote that she was “pissed” because she thought she was “being dumped onto some guy who was probably a junior attorney.”
The associate was Avenatti.
Meeting Avenatti in that hotel lobby, Daniels wrote that she was struck by how “gorgeous” he was. The pair discussed her case over cocktails.
“I was still mad about being stood up by the other lawyer and saddled with this pretty boy,” Daniels said. “I barreled through it, telling the whole story brashly because this was going to be one more guy who just wanted to hear about the freak show but wouldn’t actually do anything to help me. I could tell this Avenatti was sizing me up and down, trying to figure out if I was lying or not.”
Avenatti, of course, did ultimately end up finding her story to be truthful. He has since built up a large profile of his own as a result of representing Daniels in her high-profile battle with Trump and Cohen. Avenatti has since jumped into a number of major legal battles involving the Trump administration, including by representing Julie Swetnick, a woman who is accusing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Avenatti, who wrote the forward for Daniels’s book, is even considering a 2020 bid for the presidency.